Say Cheese! It’s Time for Your Close-up…
I have to make a confession I like the idea of having my picture taken, even sitting in front of the camera is exciting, but actually seeing the image after it is taken, not so much. I know that I am not alone in my fear of the image. Because a few days ago my brother www.sargentphotography.com came to our church to take pictures for our new directory; and just about every lady and some men, told me how unhappy they were about doing this. Most of them said right out “I HATE to have my picture taken.” As the Pastor’s wife it was my job to push and prod them into position and assure them, it would be painless and that with my brother’s talent they would be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I’m sure that many of you reading this can relate to how they felt.
But why are we so concerned with our outward appearance? We all have things we don’t like about how we look. Some think they are too thin (if only that was my problem) some said if only I had fewer wrinkles, and if only I had gotten my hair done, and the list went on and on. It’s really sad how dejected we can get at the perspective of taking a long look at ourselves. The camera is a truth detector, but only on the things that are on the outside. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us,
“Don’t consider his (our) appearance… The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
I’m not going to tell you I don’t care how I look, because I promise, I will never lie to you. I had a rule that my family and friends can never take a picture of me in my wheelchair. I have been working on this, and I intentionally had my brother take a new pic of me in it, just for this post. I wanted you to see me, just the way the LORD made me. You see, God doesn’t make mistakes. He is perfect in every way and we know that He decided the color of our skin and hair and yes, even if we are born with birth challenges. I hate the word defect because that defines me as broken, and I can tell you there is nothing broken about me, (I may have a few loose screws) but I am who God intended me to be, and I look just the way he wants, and so do you. Please rejoice with me as we read Psalm 139:14
“I praise You (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
You need to hear that verse with your ears and your heart, get it so deep into you, that you not only know it but believe it! I can attest that it’s hard. I have spent most of my life not sure what people see when they look at me. Not sure if I like what I see, when I look at me. I know that I could lose a few pounds, buy new clothes, and wrinkle cream, but I am finally learning that those things are just the window dressings for my life. You need to look past the things you don’t like about your body too and listen to when God whispers. “I love you, why can’t you love what I love about you? I have such great plans for you. You are the apple of my eye. If I didn’t love you why else would I have laid down my life.”
Jesus came to this world so we could have ever lasting life and be forgiven for all the things we have done (and will do) to separate us from God. That includes the times we ate that whole bag of chips, to the many times we looked past our neighbor in need. We need to work on our prayer life; we need to work harder on the inside of ourselves. We need to spend less time watching TV and start reading His word; and help the people in need in our communities. So that when God looks at our hearts, He would see that we have a heart of love for His children, and a hunger for His word. 2 Corinthians 4:16 gives us encouragement to remember that,
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
Don’t get me wrong I am not condoning poor eating choices and the lack of exercise we all do, but don’t put so much thought into how you look and being so disappointed in yourself, that you can’t appreciate the woman that God made you to be! These earthly bodies are temporary, and I don’t know about you but I sure am looking forward to the new and improved version of Vickie that is coming next! As for today, I say Smile and Say Cheese for the camera, and let the wonderful God created woman stand (or sit) in all her glory!